Toilet proposal panned by town councillors

WISBECH Town councillors were not overly flushed with a proposal by Fenland Council to give the town a new block of public toilets but palm off the other three blocks to the council who will need to foot the bill to refurbish them.

Representatives from the district council came under fire at Monday night’s town council meeting after announcing a plan to replace the Church Terrace toilets with a state-of-the-art modern block.

The town council would then be given the opportunity to lease the remaining three blocks in Wisbech but would be expected to pick up the bill to bring them up to an acceptable standard, estimated to be in the region of £100,000.

The toilets in Mount Pleasant Cemetery have already closed due to £9,000 worth of vandalism, although Mark Matthews from Fenland said they had previously been marked for closure as they were unfit for purpose. Toilets in Wisbech Park and on the Old Market also need to be refurbished.

Virginia Bucknor said: “It is highly inequitable for Wisbech to lose so many loos and it is essential to have a second set in the park.

“There is no way it can be acceptable to take them away and leave us with only one set of toilets. I would fight tooth and claw before that happens.”

Mr Matthews explained that each of the four market towns will be getting a block of new toilets but councillors were unhappy that Wisbech, as the biggest town, was only getting one set.

Councillors also felt Church Terrace was not the best location for the new toilets, with Samantha Hoy suggesting Wisbech Park would be a better place.

Mr Matthews said the greater size of Wisbech had been taken into account and as a result would be getting a block of five toilets, compared to just two in the other towns.

A decision on the toilets has not been made yet and will go to Fenland Council in November. Each of the town councils will be briefed on the proposal and their comments taken back to Fenland.

At Monday’s town council meeting, the new budget was also ratified. Councillors agreed an overall increase of £58,900 which will amount to a precept increase of £8.49 for an average Band D property in the town.

The increase includes £20,000 for acquisitions – see next week’s Citizen to have your say on whether this money is spent on getting the lease for the Bramley Line.